Sabal palmetto Seeds
Sabal palmetto Seed Production
The Sabal palmetto are single seeded, hard and spherical in shape. They are disperse by many means such as wind, rain or birds including, blue jays, fish crows bill gulls and cardinals. The major distribution of seeds are through water and animals like rodents. A single tree produces a large number of fruits and seeds each year.
Description of Sabal palmetto
The Sabal palmetto is native to Florida, coastal regions of North and South Carolina and Georgia. Moreover, it is the national tree of South Carolina and Florida.
Other common names of Sabal palmetto includes, Carolina palmetto and cabbage palmetto. The name cabbage palmetto comes from its edible immature leaves that taste like cabbage.
The Sabal palmetto is a medium-size evergreen palm. It grows on sandy shores and along brackish marshes.
The leaves of Sabal palmetto are curve, costa-palmate and fan-shape with 3-4 feet long blades. A healthier palm has a full round canopy with a trunk of about 10-16 inches in diameter and 40 feet in height. Inflorescence is branch which is produce during the late spring and contain numerous tiny & creamy-white flowers. The flowers are very fragrant and thus, attract bees. The fruits are black in colour and appear in late summer. The fruits also contain a little flesh therefore, it is consume by animals such as raccoons. Hence, this tree provides a good supply of food for wildlife. Each fruit contains a single seed which is hard, spherical and brown in colour.
Sabal palmetto Seeds Germination
Sabal palmetto seeds are not difficult to germinate. The fresh seeds are sown readily for quick germination. The germination requires uniform moisture and high temperature up to 86°F-95°F. The germination takes up to 18 to 33 days. The newly emerge seedlings look much like grass. These seedlings can take about 15-30 years to become a tree under natural conditions. However, this time period can be speed up in nurseries by providing them good quality fertilizers. The trunk of the palm elongates under favourable conditions up to 6 inches per year but it slows down as the palm matures.
Soil Conditions for Sabal palmetto Seeds
It can tolerate a broad range of soil conditions. The plant is also tolerant to salt sprays but intolerant to their root zone.
Exposure of Sabal palmetto Seeds
The Sabal palmetto seeds expose to the sun for a long time will not germinate well.
Sabal palmetto transplanting of Seedlings
The Sabal palmetto seedlings can be transplant from containers to outdoors. Therefore, they should be plant in proper landscapes when they become enough to handle. Mostly, the cut roots are replace by massive numbers of new adventitious roots. These adventitious roots originates at the base of the trunk from root initiation zones. However, these seedlings could take up to 8 months to produce a new root system. Therefore, the young and trunk less seedlings are quite difficult to transplant as they do not produce such replacement roots. Sabal palmetto should always be transplant with same depth as they are originally growing. However, in some cases deeper planting can case root suffocation and death of the palm.
Fertilization of Sabal palmetto Seedlings
Sabal palmetto seedlings should be fertilize 3 times a year with 100% N, K and Mg in control release form. Similarly, other surrounding plants should also spray with the same fertilizer.
Pests of Sabal palmetto Seeds & Seedlings
The sabal palmetto seeds are mostly attack by Bruchid beetle (Caryobruchus gleditsiae) which causes great seed loss and regeneration failure. Similarly, the Sabal palmetto seedlings are susceptible to palmetto weevil (Rhynchophorus cruentatus) invasion. These weevils lays eggs in the leaf bases and dig up the crown stem hence, kill meristem.
Diseases of Sabal palmetto Seedlings
The Sabal palmetto are mostly disease resistant. A soil borne fungus “Ganoderma butt rot” generally invades the lower portion of trunk and causes it to decay. As a result, the trunk cross sectional area rots and the palm dies.
Special feature of Sabal palmetto
In conclusion, Sabal palmetto is an important tree because their fruit has a sweet flavor. Their leaves are use to make baskets. They are in flower when many other plants are not. They are the significant source of strong, delicious dark amber honey.